Is It True That I Can't Get Benefits On My First Husband's Record?

Dec 7 2016 - 12:30pm

My first marriage lasted for one year. My second marriage lasted for 10 years and my ex husband died this year.
I will be 60 next year and am looking at options for retirement. I have a print out of widow benefits from my second marriage, that the local SS office gave me.
I do not know if my first husband is alive or dead. I was told at the SS office that since I was only married to him for one year, I am not eligible for any benefits from him. Is that true?

Hi,

You must have been married for at least 10 years to qualify for divorced spousal or widow's benefits, so it sounds like what Social Security told you is correct.

Before filing for benefits, you may want to consider running the maximization software available on this website, particularly if you have worked long enough to qualify for benefits on your own work record. The software should be able to help you determine which type of benefit to file for first, and when to apply for each benefit.

Best, Jerry